The 2018 American Gold Eagle 1/10 oz coin is the smallest American Gold Eagle. Struck from .917 fine (22K) gold mined in the United States, American Gold Eagles in all four sizes have their weight and purity backed by the US government. These guarantees have made the American Gold Eagle the world’s favorite gold bullion coin series.
The total weight of the 2018 American Gold Eagle 1/10 oz coin is actually 0.1091 troy ounces. In addition to 1/10 ounce of gold, the 1/10 oz Gold Eagle has very small amounts of copper and silver (5.33% and 3% of total weight, respectively). Making the American Gold Eagle from 22K gold gives the coins better resistance to scratches and wear. The weight listed on each coin is the weight of only the gold -- it does not include the weight of the silver or copper.
The Design of the American Gold Eagle
The Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985 set the gold purity, denomination, diameter and weight of each Gold Eagle authorized under the Act. Congress only explicitly specified a design for the one ounce coin, leaving it up to the Secretary of the Treasury to determine what the fractional coins would look like. To maintain uniformity in the series, it was resolved that all sizes of American Gold Eagles would carry the same design as the one ounce coin.
The obverse of the 2018 American Gold Eagle 1/10 coin features the Augustus Saint-Gaudens design used for the 1907-1933 $20 double eagle circulating gold coin. Widely believed to be pinnacle in US coin design, it was a natural choice for America’s first gold bullion coin.
In this design, Lady Liberty fully faces the viewer, holding the Torch of Freedom in one hand, and an olive branch representing peace in the other. Her sandaled left foot rests on an outcropping of rock. An oak branch, signifying excellence in battle, lies at the foot of the rock, signalling the readiness to go to war if needed to preserve liberty. Fifty six-pointed stars, representing the fifty United States, flow around much of the rim. In the left background, the Dome of the US Capitol Building can be seen. The glory of a rising sun provides a powerful backdrop to Lady Liberty.
A large inscription LIBERTY appears between the row of stars and the head of Liberty at the top of the coin. The year date appears on the lower right of the coin, with Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ monogram of the stacked letters A, S, and G below the date.
The reverse of the 2018 American Gold Eagle 1/10 oz coin continues the original Miley Busiek design of a family of bald eagles that has graced the coins from the very beginning. Featuring a mother bald eagle in a treetop nest shielding her two fledglings, a male bald eagle is pictured bringing an olive branch back to the nest.
Below the nest are the initials MB for the designer Miley Busiek, and JW for Mint Engraver Joseph Winter, who did the actual engraving.While Busiek is an accomplished commercial sculptor, she did not have the specialized experience needed to engrave a coin die.
Above the eagles is inscribed UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The gold weight of 1/10 oz and $5 denomination curve along the bottom rim, while the mottos E PLURIBUS UNUM and IN GOD WE TRUST flank the left and right of the nest, respectively.
Did You Know?
- Miley Busiek’s “Family of Eagles” design for the reverse of the American Gold Eagle coin was chosen by Congress before the Treasury Department had decided what would be on the coin’s obverse.
- By law, all American Gold Eagle coins must be made out of gold from mines located in the United States, which cannot have been mined more than 12 months before the Treasury Department acquires the gold.
- The original “Family of Eagles” design was for miniature sculptures for Ronald Reagan’s first Presidential Inauguration. Copies of these statues were given to each of the hostages of the US Embassy in Iran, after their release and return to US soil.
Gainesville Coins carries all sizes of American Gold Eagle coins, in both current-date and previous-date mintages. We also carry a wide range of contemporary and historical gold coins from the US and around the world.